Allergy and immunology
The mission of the fellowship program is to prepare specialists who are well-rounded in allergy and immunology. These specialists will not only provide expert medical care for patients with allergic and immunologic disorders, but also serve as consultants and educators while being critical in interpreting medical research in asthma, allergic and immunologic diseases.
The overall training is roughly divided into 50 percent direct patient care, 25 percent scholarly activity and research and 25 percent in educational activities. All fellows are adequately trained in system-based practices, professionalism, patient care, advancement of their medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills and practice-based learning.
Ample opportunities are available to pursue basic and clinical research. Fellows can team up with faculty to work on many different projects.
Basic research opportunities are available in the area of mast cell and basophil biology. Trainees have participated in studies defining two types of human mast cells, cloning of the gene(s) for mast cell tryptase and development of immunoassays for tryptase to serve as precise clinical indicators of mast cell involvement in human disease.
Clinical research focuses on training fellows in principles of clinical research including designing, collaborating, collecting data, interpreting and writing a paper. Each fellow has his or her own research project that they work on in addition to any projects they may have teamed up with the faculty to pursue. Clinical research opportunities in asthma, anaphylaxis, urticaria, eosinophilic esophagitis, mastocytosis, desensitization and allergic rhinitis are available to fellows.
Didactic conferences are held on a regularly scheduled basis with attendance required of all fellows and divisional faculty.
- Clinical allergy/immunology journal club – Tuesday
- Basic allergy/immunology journal club – Friday
- Allergy/rheumatology Grand Rounds – Friday
- Medical Grand Rounds – Thursday
- Pediatric Grand Rounds – Tuesday
- Virginia Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society meeting – June, Virginia Beach, Va.
- Virginia Swineford Conference – March, University of Virginia
During the two years of training, each fellow will attend both the national conferences (AAAAI and ACAAI).
During the first two to three months of the beginning of fellowship, a series of basic lectures are given by the faculty to orient and educate the first-year fellows on the most common conditions seen in the clinics. First-year fellows also attend graduate-level immunology classes offered by the School of Medicine.
Regularly scheduled simulation lab sessions are held for fellows as part of fellowship training to enhance patient safety and quality care.
Opportunities are available throughout the fellowship training years to teach and educate residents and medical students. Fellows are encouraged to participate in and contribute to both pediatrics and medicine morning reports. Fellows are actively involved in teaching the house staff during the inpatient consultations and as the house staff rotate through our clinics.
Evaluations are performed on a semi-annual basis by the program director, with input from supervising faculty.
How to apply
The Allergy/Immunology Fellowship Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). This fellowship program participates in the National Residency Match Program (NRMP) and the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Please submit your fellowship application by July 15, 2013 for positions starting July 1, 2014.
Application to the fellowship program is highly competitive. Persons who wish to apply should be board-eligible or board-certified in pediatrics. Applications from women and minorities are encouraged.
2015-2016 dates coming soon.
Allergy/Immunology Fellowship Program leadership
Fellowship Program Director
Wei Zhao, M.D., PhD, FAAAAI, FACAAI
Division of Allergy and Immunology
Department of Pediatrics
Virginia Commonwealth University
PO Box 980225
Richmond, VA 23298
Office: (804) 828-9620
Fax: (804) 828-1751
Access general fellowship program information such as contract and benefits, policies, housing opportunities, salary scale and required information on our Graduate Medical Education website.